BEVERLY, Mass. — An emotional tribute for Pete Frates was held on Tuesday in his hometown of Beverly after Frates died at the age of 34 after battling ALS. At that vigil, Pete's family shared their thoughts on how he’ll be remembered.
Saying goodbye in song and prayer, hundreds gathered in the pouring rain to honor a hero born and raised in Beverly, Mass.
"We were so proud and so lucky to be Pete's family," said Nancy Frates, Pete’s mother.
Pete Frates died Monday, seven years after he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. His family now mourning his loss alongside his neighbors and friends Tuesday.
"In our own dark times, if we can look at the light and try to see the hope, that’s how others will go forward with the light and with the hope," Nancy said.
Pete's mother Nancy was emotional as she reflected on the legacy her son will leave behind. Frates was the inspiration behind the Ice Bucket Challenge that spread worldwide and raised millions of dollars for ALS research.
"Very few people in this life impact the world," said the Beverly mayor. "Pete Frates has impacted the whole world."
Neighbors say it was only fitting to hold the candlelight vigil in Pete's Park, named after Frates.
"There's really no other place in Beverly we would do it, it’s Pete’s Park, it’s a place for all," said Courtney Melei, the organizer. "It's accessible; it's a place where Pete got to come and enjoy watching his daughter play."
Melei helped organize the moving tribute as the community remains heartbroken over this loss.
"Hopefully there's going to be a cure for ALS, but yes Pete left a giant legacy and also a huge hole in all of our hearts," she said.
A legacy that Nancy hopes will inspire others to be brave enough to make a difference, even while faced with the worst adversity.
"You can come from a small town north of Boston and you can change the world for the better," she said.
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